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Sony readying super slim PS3? More clues emerge

A pile of evidence, the latest out of Brazil, indicates that Sony may offer an even slimmer PlayStation 3 this year.

The new super slim PS3? Know that most FCC-sourced pictures lack clarity, so be gentle. (Click to enlarge.)

It's been nearly three years since Sony released the first redesign of the PlayStation 3 -- dubbed the PS3 Slim. Now we're seeing more evidence that a new, even smaller PS3 might drop before the holidays, presumably ready to disrupt seasonal sales with an even lower price point than ever.

A screenshot of Sony's U.S. FCC filing for the unannounced CECH-4000 series PS3. The dimensions appear to match the Brazilian leak. Screenshot by Christopher MacManus/CNET

To catch you up on the latest leaks, almost two weeks ago, Sony submitted a round of FCC documents regarding a mysterious new version of the PlayStation 3. Observers found the filing quite confirming, as the model number read above the current PS3 nomenclature (CECH-3000) -- the Japanese company dubbed the new one the CECH-4000 series.

A label schematic in Sony's papers also hinted at a possible redesign, as the dimensions of the upcoming PS3 appeared unlike the current PS3 Slim. Sony declined to comment on the FCC filings, but even trusted gaming Web site lent credence to a likely redesign, with a possible reveal as early as next month.

Then, late last night, Tecnoblog caught wind of the unannounced PS3 in the equivalent of Brazil's FCC system, known as Anatel. A treasure trove of associated images within Sony's Brazilian papers supposedly expose a super slim PS3 that appears very stripped down.

The overall design appears to be a hybrid of the original-launch PS3 and the slimmer variant, with the super slim device sporting a long row of ridges at the top. You might also notice that this new PS3 lacks a slot-loading drive, and after careful inspection of the pictures, it appears discs may load through a sliding door on the top, meaning the left ridge area could double as ventilation. A trio of model numbers also found their way into the filing, listing 16GB, 250GB, and 500GB PS3s. Would Sony play a PS3 with a 16GB (SSD?), or did the document contain a typo and mean 160GB?

After a thorough investigation, CNET could not locate any mention of the CECH-4011 series in Anatel as described by Tecnoblog.

Make of there rumors what you will, though most of the information appears credible. Regardless, six years after the debut of the console, do you think we could see a super slim PS3 sold at a sub-$200 price point from Sony this year?

An artist at the Neogaf forums put together this composite comparison of the super slim PS3 versus its predecessors. (Click to enlarge.) Mojo/